I’ve talked about my struggles with acne on the blog before and I’ve also shared what finally worked. As hard as it is to be vulnerable about these topics, I hope that my journey can help at least one person reading this, if not more. Now, I’m sharing the third phase of my journey- getting off the meds and naturally healing my skin. Let’s do this!
After seeing a dermatologist two years ago, I started taking antibiotics and spironolactone to heal my acne and it worked! I was really grateful to have finally found a solution, but I knew it was just a bandaid. I promised myself that once my skin was fully under control, I would find a naturopath or eastern medicine practitioner to help me identify and fix the causes of my acne.
In one of my recent posts, I talked about how crazy the fall was last year with getting settled in New York City and traveling a ton so it took me a little longer than I hoped to follow through with my promise. Once January rolled around, I was ready to focus on this new goal. A friend of mine talked very highly about his acupuncturist and I was quickly convinced that I had to give it a try. I made an appointment the next week!
When I arrived at the acupuncturist’s office, I filled out a long form that was kind of like one of those quizzes in a Cosmopolitan magazine. It was actually fun to fill it out. Then, I spent about 35 minutes talking with my acupuncturist about the issues I wanted to address, which are three-fold: my acne, a weak immune system, and inflammation showing up in my digestion and in other ways. I am so excited to finally work with someone who will consider and address all these issues holistically, rather than treating one at a time while ignoring how they might be interconnected.
The issues I want to address are three-fold: my acne, a weak immune system and inflammation.
After talking about all my concerns and how we might address them through acupuncture and herbal supplements, it was time for the actual needles. I started to get a little nervous because I am not a needle person but I was excited to to get started. I laid down on the table with some towels covering me so that my acupuncturist could put the needles from my feet to my head.
He started with my ankles and for the most part it felt like getting a shot but without the needle coming out immediately. There were a few spots that felt a little uncomfortable and my acupuncturist adjusted the needles in those spots to make it feel better. Overall, once the needles were placed, my body felt tingly and heavy. There were two spots that were particularly uncomfortable, my left IT band and my left trapezius, which makes sense since both are particularly tight muscles where I carry a lot of my stress. The weirdest thing was that when my acupuncturist put the needle in my left trapezius, I was overwhelmed with the urge to cry and I couldn’t hold it back. It was similar to when you get hit in the nose and tear up even if it doesn’t hurt but this was much stronger. My acupuncturist told me that this is actually pretty common since we often suppress our emotions in our muscles. It was such a strange feeling though and really caught me off guard.
When all the needles were in, my acupuncturist left me in the room with some meditation music music and a heating lamp to relax for about 25 minutes. It was really hard for me to relax and I felt very tense having these needles all over my body but I did my best to breathe deeply. I started playing the “gratitude game” (my words) where I mentally go through all the things I am grateful for. I’ve learned about this technique from Jess at The Lively Show and it is literally a game changer.
By the time I finally started to relax, my acupuncturist came in and said I was done. Phew! I was pretty relieved and ready to get those needles out. The needles were removed in what felt like 5 seconds and I felt some immediate relief in most spots but continued tingling in a few others. Into the next day, I felt this tingling in my left wrist where one of the needles was placed but this feeling disappeared less than 24 hours after my session.
That’s not me but it’s basically what I felt like (even though I just had one needle in my face, haha).
I was expecting this to be a relaxing experience similar to getting a massage and, boy, was I wrong. In reality, it was a pretty intense experience for me. I think everyone is unique and my reaction was perhaps stronger than othersmight feel, so I hope this doesn’t discourage others from trying acupuncture. I have heard that acupuncture can be great for so many health issues from fertility to migraines. Even though this first session was tough, I’m so excited to go back since I know I’ll get more comfortable with the needles over time and I can’t wait to see if it will help me balance my hormones and natural systems.
I’ll be sharing more updates on my progress so stay tuned!
Have you ever tried acupuncture and if so, what did you think?